|"Here and There"
by Clay Moore
and Jay Silvers
Julian, emperor of Rome from 361 to 363 penned a poem about how much better
his alcohol was than what the Celts made in France. In it he said their drinks
"smell like goats". In return many Cetic tribes eventually outlawed wine and
stuck to drinking only beer.
How do advertisers get such foamy, sturdy heads on beer in their ads? First, they
use warm beer which has more bubbles. When beer is stirred properly it bursts
carbonation bubbles making them rise to a froth. If that fails they use a product
called "foam booster". It makes the beer look good but it tastes terrible.
Braggot, making a comeback of sorts in many countries, comes from the Welsh
brewing tradition. It was usually made in honor of the goddess Ceridwen. One of
the oldest Druid recipes for it includes "berries, the foam of the ocean, cresses of a
purifying quality, wort, and a cheerful, placid vervain....kept apart from the Moon."
All of which meant barley, water, salt, honey, and some adjuncts.
Wrexham Lager, founded in 1882 makes the claim to be the oldest lager brewery in
Britain. At one time it was immensely popular and known for keeping its quality over
long journeys. It was served on the Titanic. Production ended in 2002 when a local
brewery bought the brand for just $1. It is now produced a local brewery in London.
Even without hops, East Africa has a strong brewing legacy. Their traditional beer is
a handcrafted wild brew of ripened bananas and fermented grains. Sorghum, millet,
or maize are common grains since they are better suited to the climate than barley.
The beer is becoming less popular due to the fact that spirits are easier to make.
In the old days beers made in the summer often spoiled so brewers would work
during cool months to produce enough beer for the entire year.
"Beer is as bipartisan as it gets"
Bob Pease, CEO of the Brewers Assoc.
Nitro beer is a beer carbonated primarily with nitrogen instead of carbon dioxide.
The result is a thicker mouthfeel and a smooth creaminess. It also effects taste,
most notably by diminishing hop presence which explains why nitro beers are
usually stouts and porters.
Less a style than a production method, smoked beer encompasses all beers made
with smoked malt. The best know style is a German rauchbier which uses barley
grains dried over fire. It is best matched with hearty flavors like grilled meat, roasted
veggies, and spicy cheeses because it can be very strong tasting.
A beer’s label must list calories only if it claims to be a “lite” beer. The Alcohol and
Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau regulates the labeling of alcoholic beverages, not
the FDA, Statements of alcohol content are optional, unless required by state law.
An average 12-ounce “lite” beer has 100 to 130 calories, while a typical 12-ounce
regular beer has 150 to 200 calories. The difference between a “lite” beer and a
regular beer could be as few as 20 calories or as many as 100.
Beer, like wine, is fat-free, and it contains some helpful nutrients in small amounts,
including protein, potassium, folate, vitamin B12, and selenium.
"Two strong beers a day keeps the shrink away"
Have you ever noticed that a spilled beer always flows in the
direction of the most expensive object?
Quiz: 1. Is a pilsner an ale or lager?; 2. How many 12 oz. beers are in a standard
American keg? 3. The first bottled beer was sold in what year?
Answers: 1. lager; 2. 165; 3. 1850 (Kingfisher lager)
When archaeologists discovered a four-thousand-year old Mesopotamian clay
tablet, they were naturally curious to learn what it was all about. So a good deal of
scholarly effort was put into the task of deciphering its cryptic markings. As it turns
out, the ancient Mesopotamian’s were recording a recipe for beer. And not just any
recipe, but a formula supposedly handed down from the god Enki himself.
"You can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning."
Clay and Jay
See you next month!